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Element: Yoga for Beginners (2007)

Elena Brower , n , a  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Element: Yoga for Beginners + Element: AM & PM Yoga for Beginners + Element: Yoga for Weight Loss
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Product Details

  • Actors: Elena Brower
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 51 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WC38B4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,237 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Yoga is one of the best ways to cultivate a connection between your mind and body. It tones muscles, increases flexibility, calms the mind and can improve overall health. Filmed on a lush, tranquil location overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this unique beginner yoga sequence will teach you yoga breathing, and take you step by step through a full range of yoga poses that will strengthen, stretch, and revitalize your body. You will notice results from your very first practice, and as you become familiar with the postures, both your yoga practice and your body will evolve in an uplifting and truly empowering way.
Elena Brower is a Certified Anusara Yoga instructor and has been teaching for over 10 years. She is the founder of Virayoga in Soho and has been featured in such prestigious publications as The New York Times, Yoga Journal and In Style magazine. Named one of New York City's top yoga teachers by Fit Yoga magazine, Elena's clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, Minnie Driver, Eva Mendes, Carla Gugino, Christy Turlington and Rebecca Romijn. Her teaching encourages observation, connection, empowerment and healing.
Element is proud to support the Arbor Day Foundation. For every four Element DVDs purchased a tree will be planted*. In addition to generating oxygen, trees provide air pollution control and decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide levels thereby reducing global warming.
*up to 20,000 trees annually

Amazon.com

The instructor, Elena, was kind enough to answer some questions from Amazon.com about the Element line of DVDs.


You have an impressive list of celebrity clients--Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Rebecca Romijn among others. What do you try to bring to a yoga practice that draws in people who literally have access to the best teachers in the country?

Each of my clients receives what I’ve learned from my teachers; attention, precision and authenticity. Celebrity or not, I always offer my complete focus in order to understandably articulate what each student needs, speaking to their bodies, their minds and their hearts. Ultimately, the alignment cues I offer are not just for the physical pose, they’re intended to help my clients to observe and refine their inner connections, enhancing every experience.

What are the biggest benefits your students reap from yoga?

Consistency and healing. My teachers have taught me to attentively offer meticulous alignment instruction so students may have a direct experience of healing. When you’re consistently aligned physically, your breathing deepens, your mind and heart begin to work in clear harmony with one another, and invariably your body heals in a subtle way. This healing, whether physical or emotional, is reflected in every one of your interactions and relationships.

Who is this workout good for?

If you’re curious about yoga, this is an inspiring introduction. if you’ve got a practice already, you’ll find this is a respectably challenging sequence for a led home practice. And if you’re giving the gift of yoga to a friend, this DVD sets the standard for beauty and production quality. .

How do the Element DVDs differ from other workout programs?

Element DVDs are presented by teachers who have spent many years learning, practicing and teaching; it’s an honor to be included. Each of us endeavors to offer a strengthening practice to challenge you to shift toward balance in both mind and body. In particular, this yoga sequence will provide practitioners of all levels with an uplifting, motivating practice for years to come..

Tell us about the connection between this production and the efforts to reduce global warming.

Anchor Bay Entertainment recently became a corporate sponsor of the Arbor Day Foundation. For every four Element DVDs sold, a tree will be planted in a national forest- so when you’re harmonizing within yourself, you’re also harmonizing with the environment. Over the course of 50 years, that single tree can provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycle $37,500 worth of water, and control $31,500 worth of soil erosion.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 &1/2 stars! Almost perfect except January 23, 2008
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoyed this DVD. The instructors voice and presence are soothing, the background (hanging gardens overlooking the Pacific) are breathtaking and the music is serene and effective.
The practics starts with:
1. Breathwork and Warm-up. This includes sitting while practicing Ujjayi breathing and warming up the legs with light lunging and standing forward bend.
2. Standing Poses and Sun Salutations. The series starts with 2 modified Sun Salutations and then a series of standing poses including, Warrior 1 & 2, Triangle, Side Angle Pose and a Side Angle Twist
3. Hip Openers. The Hip Openers started with Pigeon Pose which I think is a bit difficult for a true beginners with no training from a teacher..
4. Backbends. I like the Backbend series here for beginners. It starts with a light cobra, then moves on to a modified locust pose series. It ends with a counterpose to release the backbends which feels nice.
5. Forward Bends/Stretch/Relaxation. This is all a nice calming series ending with a short meditation.
Overall, I give this DVD 4 and 1/2 stars taking off 1/2 star because I think this is really for an advanced beginner. There is not enough mention of foot, knee, and/or hip alignment and I think it would be very easy to injure your joints without this knowledge. A tutorial in the beginning of the DVd would have been perfect. Maybe with a lined mat showing beginners where to place their feet.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Highs and Lows April 11, 2008
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
3.5 Stars.

There are elements of this yoga video that I absolutely love; there are also elements that I do not like at all.

The Highs:
The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and the music is perfect for both the activity and the setting.
The beginning of the DVD is relaxing; with the breathing and the stretching it does wonders for your tension and stress.
The ending of the DVD is the same as the beginning. Very relaxing, both the breathing and the stretching are as relaxing as it is invigorating.

The Lows:
The middle of the DVD she gets into some Yoga positioning and really doesn't take the time for the newbie to follow along. Also she switches positions and what not without telling you so if you are not watching the TV screen the whole time you miss some very vital stuff.

I am not a beginner at Yoga, but most of my Yoga experience has been integrated with a Pilates based workout. I watched the DVD twice before actually doing the exercises as when I do Yoga there are times I like to have my eyes closed. That's next to impossible to do on the majority of the middle of the DVD. A lot of the time you have to move fast and watch the whole time; I didn't like that at all. I prefer to listen to the voice guide me through the exercises.

The good definitely outweighs the bad, but I can already tell it's not going to be one of my favorite exercise DVD's.

Cherise Everhard, April 2008
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not for beginners December 13, 2007
Format:DVD
While this is not a bad DVD, it is far too strenuous and, in places, complex for real beginners. Only try this if you have at least some experience in a yoga class.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much more difficult than AM/PM Yoga by element June 25, 2010
By Elaina
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I chose this DVD after trying the AM/PM Yoga DVD produced by the same company with the same instructor. Since both are listed as for beginners, I expected this DVD to be the same difficulty but with more variation. As I wouldn't want anyone else to make the same mistake, be aware that this DVD has much less explanation and transition time between poses in comparison the the AM/PM DVD. Several of the poses were also more difficult than the ones in the other DVD as well. If you are an advanced beginner this is the DVD for you, but if you are less experienced try the AM/PM DVD by element first instead.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The title is a bit misleading February 11, 2008
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For a while now, a friend has been urging me to consider practicing yoga. With that in mind, I've been looking into various books and videos, and finding them generally either too physically demanding or too involved in the spiritual side of yoga practice. I'm sorry to say that "Yoga for Beginners" is no exception, in spite of the name. In fact it might be more properly titled "Yoga for Beginners Who are Otherwise Quite Strong and Flexible."

In an approximately 50 minute workout, Elena Brower demonstrates a beautiful, flowing workout which looks like it must feel wonderful, if you can manage to follow it. Unfortunately I have neither the strength nor the flexibility to do so. I'm guessing that most of my friends don't either, so it does seem to me that it might be a good idea to offer hints for modifications of the poses to suit older, heavier or simply out-of-shape students. But Brower offers very little in the way of such modifications. I'd guess that about two-thirds of the workout is simply not do-able for me without substantial modification.

At the same time, the poses themselves look quite wonderful, and if you've ever done stretching and/or deep breathing exercises, the pleasure of these poses will be almost palpable to you. Brower's voice is calming. She doesn't rush you through the poses, but at the same time she doesn't spend a lot of time explaining them. Because the practice is slow and deliberate, this isn't as big a problem as it might be during an aerobics video, but as a beginner, I'd have appreciated a bit more information.

Right at the beginning, Brower suggests that the deep breathing is far more important than a deep pose. I think it would be helpful if she reiterated that during the actual workout.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars not for beginners
I have taken yoga classes for years, This is not for beginners, I hate throwing this lady under the bus, but this is not for beginners, the pace is way too fast and she uses yoga... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paurik
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
This is a good yoga dvd. Definitely a great stretch, but I am used to Yoga to the People where I sweat a ton and this is not like that. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alexis
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent instruction!
Love Elena Brower's techniques! This was just what I needed to make yoga a part of my life for good!
Published 6 months ago by Lolo Bee
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat unevenly paced
The routine starts out at a nice even pace--not a bad beginning at all--but then seems to speed up with moves and at a pace that might be considered a bit beyond "beginner"... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lisa F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Yoga Goddess!
Elena Brower is a yoga goddess. How I wish I lived in New York so I could visit her studio and take classes from her everyday. Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. Hays
4.0 out of 5 stars great dvd
She has a nice style and lovely way of executing the asanas. The flow is nicely done, the music soothing and a great DVD to have in your library.
Published 7 months ago by Maria Elayna Polhemus
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this yoga!
I read a lot of the reviews of this dvd and almost didn't buy it, I'm so glad I didn't listen to those reviews! Read more
Published 8 months ago by memyself&i
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Even Cose
There is no way a beginner can follow this program without injury. It requires practice to be able to do the asanas and balance to move between them Be careful!
Published 8 months ago by K R Decarreau
3.0 out of 5 stars Really not for true beginners.
First of all, I want to make it clear I have never done yoga before. I'm not in very good shape, either. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lisa Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Yoga instruction
Elena is great. She has a very calming voice and very fluid in her movement. The exercises are simple and not complicated. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Heather S.
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